European Commission

SETIS

Strategic Energy Technologies Information System

Nuclear Fusion Power

Nuclear fusion is an attractive long-term energy solution, although it is unlikely that the technology will be ready for commercial power generation in the near future.

Fusion is the process that produces the light and heat of the sun. Hydrogen nuclei collide in the sun’s core and release huge amounts of energy as they fuse into helium atoms. On Earth, fusion reactors heat gas to extreme temperatures to produce a plasma similar to the conditions found within a star. The many benefits of fusion include an essentially unlimited supply of fuel, passive intrinsic safety and no production of CO2 or atmospheric pollutants. It is one of the very few candidates for the large-scale, carbon-free production of base-load power. Compared to nuclear fission, it produces relatively short-lived radioactive products, with half-lives limited to less than 50 years and most less than 10 years.